President Trump on Thursday pushed Democrats to support his demands for border security by claiming most of the workers affected by the partial government shutdown belong to their party.
The government partially shut down on Saturday after lawmakers were unable to agree on a package to keep the government open that includes funding for Trump’s campaign promise of a wall on the southern border. Trump has said he won’t sign a bill that does not adequately fund the wall, and has demanded $5 billion in funding for the wall.
On Thursday, he questioned if Democrats have realized that “we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border” and said it was needed to stop “Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country.”
He then asked: “Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”
He did not immediately back up his claim, but there is evidence to suggest that federal workers as a bloc skew toward voting for Democrats. The Hill reported that in 2016, 95 percent of the roughly $2 million from 14 agencies spent on presidential politics went to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Several agencies saw more than 99 percent of contributions going to Clinton.
About a quarter of the government is shut down, with about 420,000 federal employees working unpaid, while another 380,000 are furloughed. The White House presented a counteroffer over the weekend that is between Trump’s $5.7 billion price tag and the $1.3 billion Democrats have offered, according to budget director Mick Mulvaney.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s office, though, said the parties remained “very far apart.”
His tweet comes after on Christmas Day he said that federal workers back what he is doing, and have urged him to ‘stay out until you get the funding for the wall.’
“These federal workers want the wall,” he said. “The only one that doesn’t want the wall are the Democrats.”
WTOP-FM reported Wednesday that the mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, had written to Trump urging him to end the shutdown, saying that the city would be hurt if the impasse continues.
“Indeed, many DC residents, businesses including restaurants and hotels, and federal contractors will suffer severe impacts if the shutdown continues indefinitely,” Bowser wrote.
Fox News’ Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.